Our J.O. social media team participated in a crash-course webinar on Instagram marketing, and we want to share with you our top five takeaways.
Did you know there are 400 million Instagram users, mostly millennials and generation Xers, and that 80 million photos are posted on Instagram daily? Facebook has seen a declining percentage in potential of people reached organically—that is, without putting money behind ads. It has also been shown that users will actually spend more money on Instagram than on Facebook. Clearly, Instagram is a fast-growing platform which brands should be using to their advantage.
There are several things to keep in mind when using social media to achieve brand recognition and engagement. One way to grab the users' attention is to attach an interesting picture or graphic—luckily not hard to do on Instagram. To keep their attention, make sure you avoid inundating users with constant and too-frequent posts. Instead, post both consistently (regularly and within reason) and strategically. A study done by Latergram showed, out of the 60,000 users observed, most were on Instagram at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesdays. Take note and post accordingly!
Social media wasn't meant to be a one-way street of information trickling only from brands and their ads. It's a 6-lane, two-way highway, which means brands need to be able to not only respond to user comments and concerns, but also engage them by leading contests and giveaways that actively request their participation. Another smart way to engage them is to showcase user-submitted photos that illustrate brands' products being utilized and then tagging said user. Who doesn't love a shout-out from those they follow?
How will you know whether your brand is growing if you don't tangibly measure it? Use analytics like click rate and percentage of engagements and views to track which stories are most popular or how much traffic is coming to your profile. An easy way to do this is through Bitly or, to help manage larger or multi-channel brands, Bitly campaigns. These are not exclusive to Instagram, but can certainly be utilized to measure growth. If organic advertising just isn't cutting it for your brand, you may even consider using paid media on Instagram through companies like AdRoll.
Some general best practices of marketing your brand on Instagram include aligning your campaign across social media channels and making sure that link destinations are friendly across devices. There are also creative best practices that are helpful to keep in mind. These include aligning your creative content with your goals, keeping ads branded, focusing on your craft, capturing your user audience with engaging captions, and refreshing your creative ideas regularly.
Basically, Instagram has gone from Facebook's annoying kid sister to the chic, confident girl next door with whom everyone wants to hang out, and brands have taken notice.